DOI: 10.1093/hgs/dcae010 ISSN: 8756-6583

Deportations of Roma from Hungary and the Mass Killing at Kamianets-Podilskyi in 1941

Anders E B Blomqvist
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • History


At the end of August 1941, the Nazi German Einsatzgruppe, together with German Police Battalion 320 and Ukrainian auxiliaries, killed approximately 23,600 persons (mainly Jews) at Kamianets-Podilskyi. While some researchers assert that Roma were deported from Hungary and Hungarian-occupied Transcarpathia (present-day Ukraine) despite the absence of official reports, other scholars argue that Hungarian leaders may have planned to ethnically “cleanse” the area of Roma, but the plan was never executed, resulting in no deportations or deaths. This article presents new findings that support the former position, and argues that roughly one thousand Roma were expelled from Transcarpathia. New evidence includes a report detailing the ongoing operation to expel Roma, census data indicating a significant reduction in the Roma population near the border, as well as indications that individuals other than Jews were expelled, likely Roma. Only circumstantial evidence—verbal orders to eliminate Roma and reports of Roma killings by the same special commando in different locations—supports the claim that Roma were killed in the August 1941 massacre, though later reports from 1942 explicitly identify Roma victims. After analyzing this new evidence, the author supports the claim that Roma were deported and potentially killed earlier than had previously been known.